Love is both sides of the coin–you take the good and the bad, the happiness and the pain, the ups and downs–one can’t exist without the other. If you only wanted the good and happy times or only to avoid getting hurt, it’s not love that you want–it’s the illusion of it. A genuine love requires one to be bold and vulnerable at the same time. To give as much as you take, to surrender to its ebb and flow, to commit to the whole and not only choosing the parts you like. It’s the entire pie, and not just a slice. It is an unpredictable high risk and high reward investment.
Navigating the desires of the heart can be messy and confusing, especially when your default mode is the neatness and preciseness of logic, relying on the safety of what the ego says is best for you. But love can also inspire you to smash the walls you’ve built around you keeping you safe, and help you reclaim the courage you’ve always known was inside you. You can finally be free to explore what other wonders are waiting for you on the other side.
“Is this really the boldest stroke you can make?” — The Half of It
It’s a line from a movie I didn’t expect I would resonate with and join my favorites list. I hear Ellie asking Aster and it becomes me asking myself, “Is this the boldest stroke I can make?”
I haven’t felt like I was making bold strokes until I learned to choose and embrace myself, until I grew comfortable in the silence and the stillness and found moments of peace, acceptance, and clarity I never even knew I was thirsting for. Moments of finding the courage to peel away the layers and reveal a truth or another part of me is also me painting one bold stroke after another. I’m nowhere near done yet with my painting and I still have a lot of space to cover. I have no idea what it would look like, but I am having fun creating it, building it stroke by stroke.
You wonder why you feel stuck or know you’re unhappy but never do anything to change it. You simply go on doing the things you do and stick with some people and relationships even when deep down you just know that who you are now doesn’t align with them anymore. You stay because they’re familiar and easy–they’re not challenging you to do the bloody inner work, to face your triggers and rise above them. Is it because you fear change? Is it because where you are is safe and accepted by the ones you feel you need approval from? But what is safe and what does external validation do for us, really? Is it even worth denying an essential part of yourself?
One of my bold strokes is finally deciding I’ve had enough of this and I won’t settle for safe and thumbsed up by everyone else but me. I learned you only grow when you learn to trust yourself and venture out of your comfort zone and into the wild unknown. When you realize the only approval and validation you need is from your authentic self, it’s a weight lifted off of your shoulders. It’s the taste of freedom and unity like that time the sea called out to me–waves lapping at my feet and without thinking, I just went into the water–my hair mimicking the waves and my dress getting soaked, a storm brewing on the horizon and I’ve never been happier. I want more of that and I am ready for it.
However my painting turns out to be, I hope it’s a beautiful mess of bold, colorful strokes speckled with jewels of neverending discoveries amidst the unknown.
Third post in the series: Music / Film + Writing Heals 💖
P.S. Ellie and Aster’s flirtation is a bold stroke for me and I like it. 😚
I used to think that wearing my heart on my sleeve was a weakness. And that to be a stronger person, to be taken more seriously, I needed to change. I had to be the opposite–keep everything in check. Keep the bubbliness and warmth from spilling over, don’t say what I really feel like saying at the exact moment I needed to. But no, it didn’t work. I was wearing a mask and felt the weight of being an imposter. I really am warm and bubbly and spontaneous. And I always feel better saying what I am intuitively guided to say to someone at the moment instead of waiting for the perfect time to say it, and not getting hung up on how the other person takes it. Our matrix perception of a “perfect time” is unreliable and even when there is perfect timing and you wait for it, the person might not be there to hear what you have to say when you think you’re ready. Better out than in.
Wearing love has only ever been my strength. That I could express and share my love and affection so freely is my natural state. Love is a super power, not a weakness.
Scene commentary: Kate Hudson as Penny Lane was golden in this scene. No doubt about it, in this film, she was Penny Lane. Patrick Fugit as William (the underage journalist/music-lover writer) translated all the awkwardness of telling the truth to someone you love even though it hurts. And we get a very powerful moment that transcends film and tugs at something inside us in reality.
William may look sweet and naïve, but he can see beyond the illusions of the Penny Lane persona. And that’s what scares her. To have someone who can be brutally honest with you even if it hurts you, who sees the real you and loves you for it can be unbearable for someone who desperately wants to stick with her illusions. Clearly, “Penny Lane” has a lot of growing up to do. William knows that and loves her enough to want her to shatter her own illusions. 💖 ~~~
“You are worthy of the deepest kind of love.”
Since I first watched this film, I wasn’t immune to Penny Lane’s charms. Her beauty, sensuality, confidence, daring, and childlike wonder drew me in to her depths. Penny Lane was a mystery I wanted to get to the bottom of. She was a siren calling out to me with her song. At the end, I got to know her like every wounded sacred woman: looking for love in everyone and everything else but herself.
There is a Penny Lane in all of us at some point. She is also the inner child yearning to be heard, seen, and set free. She reminds me of my younger self who still had a long way to go before her own awakening and healing journey. She is in parts of me that I have yet to embrace and express. She is me every time I belt out to that Queen song, “I want to break free”.
Penny Lane is so real, raw, and vulnerable. I just want to love her. And as I write this, I realize that the deepest kind of love I will ever know and commit to is the love I find in myself. The highest form of unconditional love can only come from yourself, not from others. Unconditional love’s only requirement is to love the whole. And most especially, the parts you rejected and have kept hidden for years–parts that triggered chaos, pain, and shame in you. When you’re ready to fully open up to that kind of love, only then can you accept it from another and nurture it. Because no matter the depths someone else is capable of loving you, when you haven’t explored your own depths and learned to love yourself whole, you will always reject love that’s being offered to you freely.
I embrace all parts of me that I hid, especially those I was ashamed of–the bits that used to make me feel inferior, unworthy, unloved. I set myself free from all poisonous thoughts, limiting beliefs, and all the barriers to love I put up myself. I will not put up with them any longer. I reclaim my power that’s rooted in unconditional love of self. I am open to more opportunities for growth and abundance. I desire and attract the kind of love that matches and nurtures my own.
P.S. I recommend listening to the song, My Cherie Amour (the long soul version) by Stevie Wonder to accompany this piece.
Second post in the series: Music / Film + Writing Heals 💖
You know that part in Almost Famous when Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) overdoses on Quaaludes and William (Patrick Fugit) was just in time to call for medical help? And as she was vomiting over the hotel room bathtub, severely wasted and emotionally worn out, her legs and feet fidgeting against the tiled surface, William kept looking at her as if she was the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie Amour plays in the background and that’s when it always hits me: this is one of the sweetest and subtly erotic scenes I have ever seen. But I just do not like it for that. It’s also for the dream that it gives me: that a person who truly loves you is someone who sees you at your worst and still finds you beautiful.
Written: 3 July 2012
P.S. I recommend listening to the song, My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder to accompany this piece.
First post in the series: Music / Film + Writing Heals 💖